E-breakups are egregious

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December 17, 2013 by nooffensebut

I have a friend who broke up with a woman via Facebook.

He insists that this is not technically true. He says he simply changed his relationship status from “In a Relationship” to “Single” before actually speaking to the young lady first. The rush, he said, was to get an annoying friend off his back, or else he would have handled the situation like a gentleman.

Yes, opinionated friends can be exceedingly irritating. And, yes, perhaps the girl in question — who saw the changed status mere moments later — was spending too much time on Facebook.

But, COME ON, DUDE! I’m very fond of this guy; we’re good friends, but I just can’t abide that particular action, no matter what sort of schmuckery the third party was exhibiting.

Relationships, of course, come in varying degrees of seriousness and longevity. But if there’s been, say, more than three dates, or the uttering of the words “boyfriend” or “girlfriend,” or a Facebook status acknowledgment, that deserves a phone call at the very least. And really, unless distance or a clear-and-present danger precludes it, a face-to-face conversation is always preferable. It’s just the decent thing to do.

You’d think that anyone out of their teens would have learned this by now. But apparently not. At least one male friend and two girl friends of mine have experienced break-ups via text, one after three weeks, one after three months and one after six months.

“It was like a slap in the face,” said Brittany, “because it made me feel like I’d wasted my time and wasn’t important enough to be given the common courtesy of at least a phone call.”

Texts have their purpose: A quick “Sorry, running late, be there in five,” or “Fun pub crawl, thanks for organizing.”

But anything personal that demands an actual conversation, is not something to communicate via mobile/online technology. And, yes, I can think of a very fitting two-word response to an “I think we should see other people” text, but this is a family newspaper.

If my gentleman friend were to end our relationship via text or Facebook, we would no longer be friends.

And I would no longer consider him a gentleman.

 

Originally published Nov. 5, 2010 in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

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